If one is to believe news reports, self-driving, or driverless cars could be on American roads within the next five to 10 years. While these estimates may be overly optimistic, the fact remains that both domestic and foreign automakers are investing millions in this technology. In addition, Google and transportation companies such as Lyft and Uber are also making substantial investments in self-driving technology. Recently the federal government released safety guidelines for self-driving vehicles. Despite these investments, while self-driving cars may be the future, they are not the present.
Self-driving cars are not foolproof. Yet.
In order for self-driving cars to take over the roads, they will need to perform nearly flawlessly to ensure the safety of passengers, pedestrians and others on the road. While prototype self-driving cars have performed relatively well on the roads, they have caused accidents. In February, a Google self-driving car hit the side of a bus. Thankfully, no one was hurt. In May, a person riding in a Tesla self-driving car was killed when the vehicle hit a semi-truck. According to Tesla, the vehicle’s Autopilot function confused the white side of a truck with the sun. Other Tesla Autopilot deaths have occurred in China and the Netherlands.
Those in favor of self-driving cars cite the fact that human error is the cause of 95% of motor vehicle accidents. It is likely that self-driving cars would cut down on the number of injuries and fatalities. With this said, people aren’t going to want to buy or use self-driving cars unless they can be certain that these vehicles will be safe.
In the next few years, it will be worth watching to see whether self-driving vehicles become a major part of our lives. In the meantime, drivers who are distracted or otherwise negligent continue to cause harmful or fatal accidents. Following a car accident, it is important to work with attorneys who are fully invested in your success. For years, people in Shelbyville, Lexington and the surrounding areas have trusted the lawyers of Robinson Salyers to provide the highest levels of legal representation.